Best Mold Testing Procedures for a Home
After mold samples are collected it is time to get them sent to a lab for testing. It is extremely important to make sure this is handled by a licensed professional. Before the lab conducts any tests someone has to make sure they are sterile.
Sterile testing is done for 1 simple reason: contamination.
Contaminants of any type can significantly throw off a mold test. And the average homeowner is completely aware of most things that are considered contaminants.
Here are some things you need to watch out for if getting mold tests done:
- No fans should be turned on at any point before or during testing.
- Any dehumidifiers must be turned off at least 24 hours prior.
- Mold tests / samples should never be collected during a rainy day.
- They should never be conducted during any time of irregular weather.
- The inspector should always have gloves and a mask on.
- Samples need to get collected and sealed as fast as possible.
- Testing should always be expediated via Fed Express.
There are many other red flags to look out for before and after mold testing.
Even if the inspector has gloves on prior to testing, something as simple as sneezing, coughing or touching his face, nose, etc can throw off results.
Keep in mind that some companies will intentionally use sneaky techniques to throw off mold tests.
Many simple things can be done to return false positives. Such as blowing into an air valve while the customers looks away. Sometimes it’s a slight of hand that is as hard to detect as card counting.
For instance, professional mold testing companies will never try to aggravate mold as they collect it. The idea is both collect and test in the most controlled environment possible. Taking a mold swab and rubbing it against a wall very roughly will contaminate a test. The inspector should rub any swabs like a feather. Very lightly like he’s barely skimming the surface.
Always document the serial number of a mold test before it’s sent out!
Don’t be afraid to offend the company. Afterall, an honest company will have no reason to get offended. They shouldn’t just be willing, but enthusiastic to build trust and rapport. So get that number written down and make sure it matches the report after mold tests are done.
This will stop any inspectors from switching samples.
The ultimate way to ensure that safe & accurate mold testing is done?
As in, have them wrap everything up in an envelope, write the address, then put it in your mailbox! Do not allow them to take the tests back to their company to mail them out. Don’t allow them to put them in an envelope then “promise” they’ll mail them for you.
It’s very easy to just rip open the envelope, peal off the serial number then change it. You can also request that the lab mails the results directly back to you. Encase any scam artists decided to photoshop the numbers so they can charge you for mold remediation you don’t even need.